By Christine Nanfra for DivorcedMoms.com
Odds are that through the years, you have encountered a narcissist or two. You know, the person who is always talking about their latest and greatest achievement, the friend who thinks she is hotter and smarter than everyone, and the person who always manages to revert every conversation back to him or herself.
According to the Mayo Clinic, not all the signs of narcissism are obvious, and I would guess that many people have various traits of narcissism without actually being a full-blown narcissist or having been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. An official diagnosis can be made by a qualified mental health professional, and requires that the individual exhibit five of the nine symptoms identified in the DSM-IV.
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
- Requires excessive admiration.
- Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
- Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
- Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
- Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
But what if the man you married is a narcissist? To say that your life will be difficult is an understatement. Having been married to an undiagnosed narcissist, I can attest they are emotionally abusive, must win every argument and will make your life a living hell. You wouldn't purposely marry a narcissist, but they are very good at trickery and manipulation. Here are 20 signs to be on the lookout for:
Here are 20 signs to be on the lookout for:
1. He was extremely likable when you first met.
Narcissists can be charming and personable at first glance. They make great first impressions and will go out of their way for you, making you believe in their wonderfulness.
2. He takes his time, but will eventually show his true colors.
Narcissists know how to bide their time and make you feel very special. You will be deceived for a while until they know they have you, hook, line, and sinker.
3. He is his favorite subject to talk about.
Narcissists love to talk, mostly about themselves since they are preoccupied with themselves. They will turn every conversation around to be about their favorite topic, you guessed it, themselves. You will barely get a word in edgewise.
4. He knows important people and likes to name drop.
Narcissists have an exaggerated self-importance so will frequently talk of the important people he knows and will name drop to impress. He wants to make sure you and everyone else he knows is impressed with his greatness.
5. He settles for nothing but the best.
A narcissist loves nice things and will only buy designer names because it is a symbol of higher status. His outward image is more important than their inner reality.
6. He spends a lot of time on his appearance.
A narcissist will spend a lot of time on making sure he looks perfect. His family members must also look perfect since outward appearances matter a great deal to him. And, how you look reflects upon his greatness.
7. He loves showing off on social media.
Narcissists love social media and claiming as many friends or followers as possible. They love to self-promote their comings and goings and will post tons of selfies while always looking picture perfect.
8. His needs are the most important.
In a narcissist's world, all is good if his needs are met. He expects you to plan your life around his needs.
9. He takes but he rarely gives in return.
Before you know it, the man that was once happily giving you his attention and love has done a 180 and is now the constant taker. He thinks he deserves all the attention and could care less if you are without.
10. He takes EVERYTHING personally.
The narcissist must be recognized for their greatness, or like a toddler will have major temper tantrums. If you disagree with him, then you are the problem and will be on the wrong end of his anger.
11. He lacks empathy for others.
The narcissist is completely insensitive toward the feelings of others, even his so-called loved ones. You think he is on your side, but soon enough you'll learn that he could care less whether he has done something to hurt you or not.
12. He believes he's superior to EVERYONE.
Narcissists believe they are above others and have a high level of self-importance. They believe that most people just don't understand their intellect and, therefore, resent people who don't treat them as superior.
13. He is always right, just ask him!
A narcissist is never wrong and if you try to point out what they did wrong they will turn it completely around to be your fault. They will talk and talk about how you are to blame until you agree with them or give up and stop defending yourself.
14. He is hyper-sensitive to criticism.
Narcissists are hyper-sensitive to criticism and get extremely angry when criticized. Their egos are so fragile and their skin so thick that they take every negative comment as a form of abuse against them.
15. He is a drama queen.
A narcissist's behavior is unpredictable and his negative reactions are oftentimes excessive relative to the issue. Hell has no fury like an angry narcissist and you will be taken aback by his rage and punishing ways towards you.
16. He feels good about himself by belittling others.
Since he believes himself to be superior, you will be demeaned every chance he gets in order to shred your sense of self-worth to nothing. The objective is to always win and keep you feeling bad about yourself so you don't have the confidence to leave. No one can leave him, he has to do the leaving.
17. He never takes responsibility for anything.
A narcissist blames everyone else for everything. It's always the bosses fault, the lowly co-worker, the kids, and mostly your fault. And don't hold your breath waiting for him to ever say, "I'm sorry."
18. He's a major control freak.
Many people overuse the term controlling about their spouses, but once you are knee deep in a relationship with a narcissist, "control" ways take on a new dimension. The narcissist will not let up until your once loud voice is a mere whimper.
19. He is a manipulator to the umpth degree.
Manipulation is fun and playtime to the narcissist. You will receive the silent treatment, be blocked on social media, your calls and texts will be ignored, or he will leave the house for long periods of time, all in an effort to force you to comply and accept his abusive behavior.
20. Unlike you, he is unaware that he has a personality disorder.
Not only does he not know he is a narcissist, but if he read the signs above, he would think that you are the narcissist.
Sounds like a great catch, right? If the guy you are married to has several of these signs, then cut the cord and run for the hills. It won't be easy getting rid of him since he has to be the one who leaves, but do it.